Alfonso Velez
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Alfonso Velez

New York City, New York, United States

New York City, New York, United States
Band Alternative Pop

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Music

Press


There is nothing quite like the freedom of creative expression behind an independent artist. For singer/songwriter Alfonso Velez, headlining a Memorial Day show at Mercury Lounge was just the beginning. Dressed in all white for the occasion with war paint on his cheeks, Velez depicted the perfect image of true Americana folk, despite his Mexican-Cuban heritage.



“Sorry folks, I’m a bit nervous tonight,” he admitted humbly as the room quieted. Opening solo with “The Need to Know,” a dark and instantaneous attention grabber, it was obvious he needed no introduction. “Welcome to my party, the devil’s in your town,” he crooned. Velez is as timeless as some of his biggest influences—a culmination of Robert Johnson’s King of the Delta Blues, Nina Simone’s Ain’t Got No/I Got Life and Chet Baker’s My Funny Valentine.

As he transitioned into the title track of his latest album, The Weather, Velez strummed complex rhythmic patterns and used his vast vocal range. His voice filled the space, entertaining the intimate crowd of about 40—not an easy task for one man. “You’ve gotta lose all reality and use all imagination,” he said in regard to his songs. For the entire set, Velez sat on a stool with a nylon string classical in his lap, incorporating various styles of technique and demonstrating his capacity as a guitarist and versatility as an artist.



“Teddy,” a sad but uplifting tale that was spawned from a hospital visit to a sick relative, was completed by a heavy bridge and finished strong with a flamenco-style breakdown. Budding single “Barcelona Birds” ranged from soft to quiet and incorporated romantic Spanish lyricism and the echo of whistling birds. His gift as a poet was evident with “Shadow Waltz,” another new tune that ended beautifully with whistling harmonies. “You move like the light of a fire/Consuming a great city.” Velez also took it upon himself to pay tribute to his latest muse, Sixto Rodriguez, a fellow Mexican artist who debuted during the late ‘60s. Velez performed a solid cover of “Sugar Man,” the single that never was, and urged his audience to Google the legendary musician. - Relix Magazine


Discography

Make it Plain- 2007
The Weather- 2009
Russian Bear- 2009

Photos

Bio

Alfonso Velez lives in New York City and writes Obituaries when he is not on the road.